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Richland Market founder dies
Gus S. Pallios, who started the local Richland Market chain in the 1950s with his brother John, died Monday morning.

Mr. Pallios, 87, died unexpectedly at Doctors Medical Center in Modesto from complications related to a blood clot. Just two days prior he was shopping in his Ceres store and dropped by the office.

Son Nick Pallios said his father enjoyed his life: "For the past year he's been saying, 'If I die tomorow, I've lived a good life, no regrets. People have been good to me.' "

Gus and John Pallios started Richland Market at the southwest corner of Richland and Evans in Ceres in 1951. Brother George entered the market operation in 1955 after finishing college. The Pallios brothers moved their store in 1960 to a larger building on Whitmore Avenue, which is now Richland Ace Hardware. The market was moved to its current site inside the Richland Shopping Center in 1971 and was refurbished in the late 1980s.

He lived by one of his sayings, said his son: "Don't fear work, let work fear you."

The brothers opened a store in Turlock in 1965 and later stores in Modesto and Oakdale. After a 2005 downsize, two stores remain in operation in Modesto - at Carpenter and Kansas, and Yosemite and Claus in Modesto.

Mr. Pallios was known as a tireless and hard worker who mastered the grocery business and supported his community as a self-effacing community servant. He was very active in his church, Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in Modesto.

"I think he was very proud to be a citizen of Ceres," said Nick Pallios. "He loved Ceres."

Pallios lived in Ceres since 1935, moving with his family from his native Helper, Utah, where he was born on July 13, 1920. Gus graduated from Modesto High School, then volunteered for the Air Force in 1943 to serve in England during World War II, holding the rank of staff sergeant. He was discharged in January 1946 and married Despina Regas on Nov. 7, 1948.

He was named Ceres' Citizen of the Year in 1969. Mr. Pallios was active in the Ceres Rotary Club since its inception in 1977 and was the club's first president. He was a member of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars and served on the Ceres Memorial Hospital Board when the hospital was in town.

"He was a great friend and obviously he was a community icon, a community giant," said fellow Rotarian Paul Caruso. "Thinking back when I was in high school and college, the Pallios brothers ... always supported the community even up until today. They were always involved in sponsorships and donations, extremely generous to our community for decades."

He served a term as president of the Northern California Grocers Association, and was a past president of the Stanislaus County Grocers Association. Mr. Pallios was also a past president of the Parish Council of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation. He also held many offices, including the national presidency, of the Pan-Cretan Association. Mr. Pallios was a member of AHEPA and Lefka Oree, and was presented with the title of Archon of St. Andrew by his Eminence Archbishop Iakovos of the Greek Orthodox Church of America.

"That was his passion - he was proud of his Greek heritage and his orthodox faith," said Nick.

Trisagion services will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Greek Orthodox Church, 313 Tokay Avenue, Modesto. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 2, at the Greek Orthodox Church.

Burial will follow at Lakewood Memorial Park.

He leaves behind his wife, Despina Pallios of Ceres; three children, Steve Pallios and Nick Pallios, both of Modesto, and Toni Sampinos of Price, Utah; his brother, George Pallios; and seven grandchildren, Angela Sampinos, John Sampinos, Nicole Pallios, Jimmy Pallios, Regina Pallios, Andrea Pallios Roberts, and Brian Roberts. He was preceded in death by three siblings, Penny Simvoulakis, Georgia Grillos and John Pallios.

Remembrances may be sent to the Greek Orthodox Church, P.O. Box 707, Modesto, CA, 95353, or to the Ceres Rotary Club Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 1573, Ceres, CA 95307.